Title: Do Citizens Understand the Benefits of Government? Experiments on Voting, Taxes, and Redistribution
Committee: Peter DeScioli (Chair), Andy Delton, John B. Ryan, and Jason Barabas.
Summary: Why do many voters oppose policies that could bring them benefits? My dissertation uses economic games I designed and programmed to test several hypotheses (for demos, see Software). For instance, do voters misunderstand who benefits from higher taxes? Do voters find it more intuitive when only the rich are taxed, and only the poor recieve benefits? And, do voters support more redistribution when they believe citizens' incomes are based on privilege, rather than on merit?